All posts by J. Lowe

About J. Lowe

Novelist, journalist, humorist.

A Hybrid Robot Story

science fiction

Hybrid means both story and script. Preorder for Nov. 1 NOOK and iTunes. Methuselah Gene here. Fugitive Visions here


10 People Killed Over a Penny

the woods

1) Abraham Lincoln. The flip of a penny decided the fate of Lincoln in the Bardo (or state of existence between two lives on Earth.) Booth believed that killing Lincoln would revitalize the Southern cause, but was conflicted, and so flipped a penny (which was actually larger then), and next entered the “booth” to shoot Lincoln. Today we enter booths to elect Presidents, although the backside is open, and every election disputed by the opposing “team” seeking a concussion for the opposing “quarter-back.”

2) The editor of The Penny magazine died in 1837 after reading a “Penny Dreadful” mystery, which cost a penny, and is interchangeable with the phrase “penny blood.” His bloody hand was opened and in it a penny was found, heads down. As was his.

3) James Ferguson of Dubin died in 1992 when a rare penny was stolen by a pickpocket whom he knew as an ex-friend. He was stabbed in the heart for good measure. The “friend” is still at large, having sold the penny for $452 to a collector. 

4) A clown playing Pennywise at a local charity event in Augusta, Maine, was killed when a stray bullet from a drive-by shooting struck him in the temple and put out his “dead lights.” He was giving away pennies to kids at the time.

5) Howard Trimble of El Paso was killed in 2011 when a young man entered his convenience store to rob him, and replayed the scene from No Country for Old Men with a penny instead of a quarter. Howard lost the toss.

6) Kathleen Anderson of Richland, Missouri died when she put a penny into a crushing machine that adds an image to the flattened surface. The defective machine’s piston shot out and stamped her forehead, instead. Interesting.

7) Buddy Wilson of Zion, Iowa died when putting a penny on the train track. The train didn’t kill him. A car trying to cross the track ahead of the train did. The driver was texting at the time.

8) An Anglo-Saxon blacksmith in AD 614 died giving a “penny” to his landlord to pay a debt. He owed more, but said he would pay the rest the next day. He offered to flip the coin for double or nothing, and lost. They flipped best out of three, and he still lost. The blacksmith lost his temper and swung an axe at the landlord, who had laughed at him but stepped aside, causing the axe to strike his own leg. The landlord locked him in, letting him bleed to death. It was one of the first “locked room” mysteries, until it was solved by a woman named Penny, who overheard the landlord, who was drunk.

9) An English pennies were stolen by thieves in 2010, freshly printed by the Royal Mint for the World Money Fair. One of the thieves was Julian Roberts, shot dead by a constable after a foot chase through the moors. The body was approached by the called coroner, with two of the pennies on the dead man’s eyes. The constable stated that the “look” of the man disturbed him, and he didn’t want to remember that look from then on, in nightmares. 

10) A rare Indian Head cent resulted in the death of Mabel Elford of Las Vegas when she entered a smoke shop and was frightened by a giant 9 foot tall wooden Indian. Tripping backward, she fell and hit her head on the concrete floor. Someone rushing to help her displaced the Indian, who fell on her and finished her off. She had been told the proprietor was interested in buying Indian Head cents, and she had in her possession an 1864 uncirculated penny. An inscription on the wooden Indian read, “Don’t take any wooden nickels, like voters and settlers do.”


Nobel Prizes in Physics and Medicine


Nobel Prizes

First woman to win in Physics in a long, long time.

Also: The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2018 was awarded jointly to James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo “for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation.”

Link to suspense novel using this science HERE.